BEFORE YOU THINK OF DIVORCING, READ THIS...

Couple divorcing, kid sad

It still baffles me that two lovebirds who met a decade or two ago and were head over heels in love are longer ‘in love’ but hate and detest each with a passion and can’t stand to even look each other in the eye anymore. After all, the lavish and elaborate wedding, that expensive dress and ring, the kids, all you’ve built together are about to go down the drain?

Where did they get it wrong? When didn’t the puzzle fit? How did it get this bad? 

Like a ship veering off course a little at a time that ends up in a wrong destination is a couple who drifts apart gradually and wakes up one day to realize there is no longer a soul connection between them.

If you’re constantly thinking of a divorce or regretting your decision to get married to this guy, it’s time to seek help before it’s really too late. Beyond staying together for the kids, you need to stay happy with a good dose of emotional health so you don’t get depressed.

It’s so easy to think that divorce is the way out. If you have a chat with a couple of divorcees or even read up researchers on divorces, you’ll quickly realize no one size fits all. It may seem to have worked for someone else in a particular situation but might not be for you. No one ever tells you all the details, the taste of the pudding is in the eating.

The kids, unfortunately, are at the receiving end of this mess, their lives never remain the same as their world’s turned upside down looking for the direction they have lost when their parents went their separate ways. Divorce affects everyone involved, family, friends, colleagues, you name it.

Divorce affects the kids in a number of ways, let’s see:


No direction 


Depending on the ages of the kids and what plans were in place for them when the split happened, for a while, the kids are confused and don’t understand what’s going on. If it was a quiet divorce, they would be in shock how they didn’t see this coming. On the other hand, if violence and physical abuse were part of the mix, the kids must be strained and partially relieved those episodes are over. If the custody issues aren’t resolved amicably, kids could be moved from one relative to another and with that comes exposure to all sorts of influence and no way forward.

No respect for authority


Having a mum and dad who live together constantly providing guidance, correction and direction is very paramount in a child’s life, especially in the formative years. When a child has neither or one parent, he lacks the requisite environment to be nurtured and the result is a child who feels he can do what he wants however he wants and whenever. He gets to be a teenager and add to that all the changes he’s experiencing at puberty and that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Emotional trauma 


Not every child reacts to the divorce in the same way. Some kids don’t care, after all, it wasn’t their fault and they don’t let it bother them. Others become very aggressive or violent especially if they take sides with the person they feel was unfairly treated and feel they won’t let anyone take advantage of them. The rest become withdrawn and struggle with emotional trauma for the rest of their life till they get help from a counselor or therapist. You don’t want your kids in any of the categories.

Wayward lifestyle 


With no direction and submission to authority, what do you expect? A child who lacks both will begin to carve out his own niche. Kids begin to drink and smoke. They are looking for love and affirmation from the very wrong places. They will make friends with whom they think will add value to their lives but in the end, will destroy them. Stability in the home keeps children from a long list of vices. Some kids even start overeating till they are morbidly obese and all they are doing is trying to feel the hole left behind by the divorce.

Unable to trust anyone 


Irrespective of how many friends and mentors a child has, his mum and dad are the role models, maybe the only examples they look up to. They will struggle to trust anyone as they try to understand why you both went your separate ways. Trust is earned. They will not only have lost their trust in you but will be wary of anyone else as this event will always remain fresh in their minds. There are obviously exceptions but a number of people whose parents were divorced will tell you they fear it might happen to them or they keep an open mind in the event that it happens. Trust is a risk and they might never step out again taking the risk to trust anyone.

Unable to manage conflict & stress 


Every marriage is going through a conflict, just out of one or about to get into one, so no one is immune. Opting for a divorce is a short-term fix to a root cause problem that might not be resolved in another relationship or on your own. When your kids see you’re taking the easy way out, they think that’s how life is worked. They grow up unable to manage stress and conflict in the individual challenges they face because they have seen how you deal with it. Kids are watching and they’ll do what you do and not what you say.

Unable to commit


More couples in recent times want to sign a prenuptial agreement and don’t want any surprises down the line. This obviously is a result of an increased number of divorces. They think by doing this they will not be as exposed as their parents were. Marriage is a risk, for better, for worse as contained in the vows. A child who has been through a divorce, most often, listening to only one side of the story will continue to live in the shadows fearing same might happen to him. You’ll notice more couples are cohabiting for so long or enjoying the all the benefits of being married apart from the lifelong commitment after signing the dotted lines. You don’t want your divorce to take your generation down a line of men and women who no longer believe in the concept of marriage.
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